Call for Security Upgrades at Penn Station
New York State’s senior Senator Charles Schumer raised concern about the threat of international terrorism at the country’s largest rail hub.
Schumer called for a joint command center for all law enforcement agencies at the transit hub, more emergency preparedness drills to increased coordination among the agencies and more rail security funding from the federal government.
A local news station, WNYC, found that while man law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction at Penn Station, Amtrak police are the lead agency. It has been revealed recently that Amtrak police are understaffed, under-equipped and under-trained; leading some to believe that more needs to be done to secure the popular transportation center.
Amtrak police coordinate with the New York City Police Department, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police, New Jersey Transit Police, New York State Police, TSA VIPR Teams and the New York National Guard. Schumer hopes to create a one-stop-shop for all law enforcement so that communication between departments can happen more smoothly in the event of an emergency.
The calls for security come after several terrorist attacks abroad, some at foreign transit centers, such as the Brussels train station bombing and the stabbing at a Frankfort train station.